Starting your own online business: what product or service should you offer?

Are you dreaming of starting your own business? Many people out there do and so did I, the driving force behind running your own business may include: independence, fame, financial benefits and not having any other choice. My journey starting my own online business started while I was working for a big corporate. My first dreams of starting my own business was fueled by growing up in a home where my father ran his own business at first successfully and then with great difficulty after he got sick. The independence in brought was a great driving force.

My journey has been slightly different to most entrepreneurs as I have been a believer in preparing myself, in many ways far too much. I spent my time studying a bachelors, post graduate diploma and master's degree in business. I spent many nights dreaming of opportunities as many do. I realized very quickly that if I want to make it a reality it will be up to me. Discussing opportunities with people did not always yield excitement in my concepts. I had a great corporate career and to many it looked crazy. And it probably was. 

Along the way I have made many mistakes and still do. Many people have a very clear idea of what they want to do and what services or product they want to offer. It was not like that for me. If you are struggling with this concept this article is for you.

Start with you

A time-tested age-old tool the SWOT analysis works wonders. What is it. You don't even have to care. Just take some time and sit down and write a list of your strengths and weaknesses. What are you good at and what are you not so good at, for example, are you a people's person who want to interact with others or are you happy to have very little interaction. What network have you built up over the years and in what industry. What qualifications and experience have fostered over the years. This will help determine what type of business you will be good at. 

The next big thing

Richard Rumelt, a professor of strategy at UCLA's Anderson School of Management had an interview with Steve Jobs as part of a study on strategy in the global electronics industry just after his successful turnaround of Apple. "What are you trying to do? What's the longer-term strategy?" Jobs just smiled and said, "I am going to wait for the next big thing."

The result of this was the iPod. The iPod was not the first in the market it was not the only digital music player in the market it jumped in at the next big thing and looked at what people wanted such a device to deliver and then perfected it. Get out there online see what people are doing. See how they are making money. What is the next best thing?

Localize something international

One of the amazing opportunities we have as part of a global community is that we have access to so much information. Information from any country in the world. What is happening respective markets. What are ways they deliver income. Why not take some of these opportunities and localize it to your country or even community.

Browse online apps

What I have always found helpful especially when you want to run your own online business and are not too confident at what websites and online services can offer, especially open source website systems. Is to browse the online community for components, plugins, modules for website systems. 

By browsing through these you get ideas on what people are doing to monetize their websites. You also get an idea on what components are out there for you to turn your website into an online service without knowing how to code. I mainly use Joomla so a quick browse of the JED (Joomla Extension Directory) will provide you with an amazing overview what is available out there. 

Take a local business and adapt it to online

As you go around every day, browsing billboards, store signs and other media you will notice things that are offline and have a great opportunity to be adapted to the online marketplace. One of our best examples of such an online success is Amazon, at the writing of this article one of the world's largest corporations. There are many other examples of such successes on the web including hotel booking systems like Booking.com, taxi replacement Uber, 

Or don't do any of the above

History is full of examples of entrepreneurs who followed a gut feeling. Have a gut feeling about what you want to do? Who am I to say what you should or should not do. Follow your gut. Make sure you understand the risks. If you have responsibilities and don't have the means to just quit and make it happen. Why not start it part time? One of the amazing things about online is that you can do it on your couch in your free time. It all starts with registering your website. I use name.com.